A California bishop has written a letter instructing clergy and religious in the diocese to be compassionate and inclusive when it comes to pastoral care, a direct repudiation of last month’s alienating directives from an Illinois bishop.
Bishop Patrick McGrath of San Jose sent the letter on June 29, 2017. While it doesn’t specifically mention Springfield, Illinois Bishop Thomas Paprocki’s decree that bars people in same-gender marriages from participation in certain forms of pastoral care, sacramental life, and leadership, from the language of the text, it seems this recent development was on McGrath’s mind . According to the blog Proper Nomenclature, McGrath wrote:
“Recent news reports of policies and practices related to members of the LGBT community in other dioceses can be confusing.
“I take this opportunity to assure you that the pastoral response in the Diocese of San Jose remains just that: compassionate and pastoral. We will not refuse sacraments or Christian Burial to anyone who requests them in good faith.
“Finally, let us remember and be guided by the words of Pope Francis: ‘The Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.’”
His letter is significant because, even if indirectly, he is publicly challenging a fellow bishop. This development is a sign of health in a church where there is too often silence from bishops when their peers act inappropriately. More U.S. bishops should follow McGrath’s example by issuing guidelines of welcome and inclusion.
—Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, July 2, 2017
California Catholic Daily has written about New Ways Ministry in a 2011 story, “Censured again”. Former Cdl. Francis George had this to say about the group in 2010: “No one should be misled by the claim that New Ways Ministry provides an authentic interpretation of Catholic teaching and an authentic Catholic pastoral practice. Their claim to be Catholic only confuses the faithful regarding the authentic teaching and ministry of the Church with respect to persons with a homosexual inclination.”
So Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, Josef Goebbels, all born Roman Catholic can now have a Catholic fueneral? Once again post Vatican II Church at its best!!
My understanding is that the Church teaches that we never know what’s in a person’s heart just before death therefore Bishop McGrath’s position is in line with orthodox Catholic practice rather as your tagline says “reasserts a pro gay stance.”
Utter nonsense C&H his position is hardly in line with Catholic teaching. As for the Pope the Eucharist is a privilege not a right but then again liberals think everything is their right. Another deceiving shepherd
Untrue! The church teaches that if a person has led a life of scandal and sin and does not formally repent, via confession, that person cannot be given a Christian burial. As well, if that person is leading a life of public sin, repudiating and renouncing catholic teaching, that person may not receive the sacraments. Learn your catechism before babbling nonsense in public.
This is true, Gabriel Espinosa! One must always have great respect for Jesus Christ, and great respect for His Church– it is His Church, and does not belong to mere human beings, to play with!! Those who love and respect Christ, and want to follow Him, must be carefully taught how to be a good, practicing Catholic– and practice their religion faithfully! You cannot fool God– and you should never deceive yourself, either! Morality is OBJECTIVE– it has nothing to do with “how you feel!” Christ is always waiting for even the worst sinners, waiting patiently, even for that final deathbed confession and conversion!!
It is unclear why this post is here on CCD. The Pastor of the Flock in San Jose has issued a plan for his diocese, which is his right to do. He clarified that pastors of other flocks do not shephard his own flock, which is correct. Why is this a news item at all? Apparently, folks do not understand what it means to be a church catholic.
Are you even Catholic, “Your Fellow Catholic.?” A bishop is not free to do as he chooses merely because he wears the purple. B. McGrath is not comparable to Bishop Paprocki, who is a man who stands for God’s will, for God’s plan. The scandal caused by sexual issues raises the truly vile to positions of power in the Church. Men like B. Paglia, McGrath and so many others. Time to can the freeloading non-Catholics like B McGrath.
Um, yes I am Catholic, and I understand that Bishop shephards his local flock. Bishop Paprocki has no relevance in San Jose. Bishop McGrath is not a non-catholic, and shame on you for saying that.
The road to hell is paved with the skulls of bishops who have not shepherded their flocks in the faithful way that Bishop Paprocki is doing. Bishop McGrath is an unfaithful bishop, and he will be held to account on judgment day for the souls he has misled.
The shame comes in being Catholic while flagrantly using one’s post to promulgate that which is not, YFC.
You speak so assuredly of such a shame, Ann Malley, it must be the voice inside speaking to you.
Yes, YFC, I hear that voice speaking to me which is why I try not to shame myself by behavior unbefitting a Catholic.
And he is now sending his seminarians to Mundelein in Chicago instead of the more local St. Patrick’s.
This is not unrelated.
Well, Archbishop C in SF fired all the professors. I wouldn’t attend a graduate school where all the professors were just fired either.
He did not “fire all the professors”. You are either ill informed or deliberately trying to mislead people.
The Sulpicians withdrew on their own. Other priest/professors as well as lay peofessors are still there. However, I think the seminary is taking a more traditional path that Bishop McGrath must not approve of.
Here’s a link to the new faculty for 2017-18 at St. Patrick’s:
Thanks for the link. 2 of the 7 have recent links to SPS: Fr. Perrone and Dr. Turek. The other 5 are from the outside. Don’t know any of the outsiders personally, but the write-ups indicate quality people.
Fr. Vito is a very good man: an excellent priest. He’ll make an excellent spiritual director.
Dubium: Does someone in a public same-sex “marriage” who does not intend to leave and dissolve the “marriage” and who has not repented of his grave sin request a sacrament in good faith when presenting himself to receive Communion?
Responsum: Negative. Being in a same-sex “marriage” precludes requesting sacraments in good faith because the person’s state of life is manifestly contrary to Christian discipleship and to full communion with the Church. No one in a same-sex “marriage” can request sacraments in good faith unless he repents and determines to amend his gravely sinful state of life.
Another California bishop leading souls to Hell.
Next will come a directive that passages in the Catechism of the Catholic Church that teach about sin are to be stricken from editions used in the Diocese of San Jose because they might offend people. In the interest of being compassionate and pastoral, no catechists or priests are to ever instruct anyone about what the Church teaches concerning sin.
Seriously, why does the diocese even offer the Sacrament of Penance anymore if sin is not going to be taken seriously? Just stop offering Confessions and give everyone Communion. That seems to be where the diocese is going.
It would be interesting to see a study on confession hours offered in the diocese…maybe they are on the way to phasing out confessions!
There is one parish (Our Lady of Peace) in the Diocese that has confession at nearly every of its 27 weekly masses. The confession lines are long and the church focuses on the sacraments. https://www.olop-shrine.org/about-us/massprayers-confession/
The Diocese has also been holding the Light is On campaign during lent at all parishes, which has been successful.
Our lives would be more fruitful and joyus if we chose to build up each other and show Gods love in charity. Please pray for all priests and Bishops. Perhaps the time we spent reading and writing these articles/comments is better spent in prayer. God Bless.
Lay member, so you would rather that the misdeeds of bishops not be exposed? Somehow letting bishops get away with unfaithfulness and teaching error is for the greater good of the Church? I think that’s nonsense.
I’m trying to say that there is good going on where many of your are condemning the entire Diocese without honestly knowing it. I’m sorry to say, but I think many of you spend too much time on here bashing (yes, I’m saying more than exposing). Some of it is fair, other times it’s rash judgement. It often comes across as being pharisee-like gossip and the comment section is a big turn off for me. Please pray for the Diocese. I challenge everyone to say an extra rosary a day for all the Bishops and Priests of the church. Or spend the time you are here on the site in Adoration of bantering with nasty comments. It’s quite disappointing to read, IMHO.
Covfefe–I don’t think it’s a matter of “either/or”. We can speak about the misdeeds of bishops…but the real solution is prayer and penance.
Shake the dust off your sandals and leave. How much more evidence does one need that the Diocese of San Jose and its bishop are not faithfully Catholic? I know of what I speak. I am quite familiar with the diocese.
When you are losing money in a slot machine do you say, “Oh, I should just increase my wagers and spend more money; things will surely turn around if I do that”?
It doesn’t take a genius to realize the DSJ and much of California is not going to improve within our lifetimes. So do you want to live where even the diocese is hostile to true Catholicism or someplace where your family will be nourished and nurtured in faith?
I say, lay member, yours is perhaps the most sensible comment I’ve read here in a LOOONG TIME: “Perhaps the time we spent [sic] reading and writing these articles/comments is better spent in prayer.” Congratulations!
Thank you. My autocorrect turned spend into spent. I do believe we all need to pray more and shut off the computer/keyboard at times. The Lord will bring great fruit.
But, jon, it is critical that one understand who and what to pray for. We lay folk are not cloistered sisters. We are admonished to beware of blind guides. So, while you advocate prayer, which is wonderful, promoting the manufacture of invincible ignorance by intentionally disengaging the use of the intellect and will is sinful.
Indeed, if prayer alone were the superior position then why are you here posting?
You’re welcome lay member [sic]. I particularly like your comment where you said: “Some of it [people’s comments here] is fair, other times it’s rash judgement. It often comes across as being pharisee-like gossip and the comment section is a big turn off for me.” Sadly lay member–or lember—there are members of the commentariat here who are indeed rash in their judgment especially about clerics. There’s almost a hatred for the hierarchy which is a violation of Canon Law. In their negativity, they have become, as you said, “pharisaical,” condemning whole swathes of the People of God, the Church. Let’s pray for these disobedient people.
“A Lay Member”, you are right about Our Lady of Peace in Santa Clara, Fr. Sweeney’s shrine, and also “The Light is On” program.
However, I do think you would agree that Our Lady of Peace with its very traditional, boy-only altar servers, Eucharistic 24-hr adoration, altar-rail enclosed sanctuary, and near-total silence in the church is not exactly Bp. Paddy’s preferred blaring, everybody-clapping-and-talking liturgy.
Were it not for OLP, even more people would flee to the SSPX, who now have 3 chapels in the San Jose area, including a traditional school and a busy retreat house in Los Gatos.
I used to live in San Jose and worked for the diocese in Catholic schools. I put in many years of persevering effort to counter the diocese’s slouching toward leftism and heretical faculty and the gayification of the diocese. More often than not I opted to attend Mass at Our Lady of Peace because it is truly the only faithful, decent, tolerable parish in the whole diocese. I worked. I prayed. I sacrificed. I hoped. Then I realized what Christ meant in saying don’t cast pearls before swine nor give what is holy to dogs. I wised up and left the diocese. There’s a difference between being a fool for Christ and just being a fool.
I have always loved Our Lady of Peace! Many years ago, however, there were struggles at that beautiful parish, with feminists, and the bishop gave Fr. Sweeney (now deceased) a hard time! The feminists wanted no altar rails, no male-only altar boys, etc. I went to tell Bishop McGrath of my love, gratitude, and support for the faithful, orthodox parish, which honors Our Lady, and my gratitude for Fr. Sweeney. The bishop (whom I knew from previous sacred music work, also!) asked me why I don’t join the feminists! I stated that they were unholy, did not love Christ, and should not be allowed in the Church. A painful disagreement!
I like to ask a “wayward” priest or prelate, WHY they do something wrong— but ask in a friendly way, without sounding mean. I learned, once– that one thing you can do, in a truly HOPELESS situation– is to simply pose a little factual question (plant a little seed) to the powerful leader, and see what they say. And who knows?? Maybe someday, they might think it over, recall that you, a little layman– were VERY NICE –and by the grace of God– change their minds! That’s all one can do– besides PRAY!! — it is in God’s hands! I don’t write letters — I ASK IN PERSON, to see the response– straight from the horse’s mouth! (Usually, disappointing!)
I also asked the (deceased) Cardinal George, all about the wrongful situation, at DePaul Univ., and similar things— he was VERY NICE– couldn’t help, of course — Vatican II policy! But he disagreed with DePaul, and I think he was a faithful Catholic prelate, basically very good– but with NO POWER, obviously, to correct religious orders, in his Archdiocese! That’s Vatican II!! Same thing, with poor (deceased) Bishop D’Arcy, of Ft. Wayne-South Bend– he couldn’t correct Notre Dame’s Holy Cross Fathers, in the 2009 Obama situation! HOPELESS!! Very sad Church, in these matters!
I will clarify my post, above. At DePaul Univ., run by the Vincentian Fathers– the largest Catholic Univ. in America— they started a Gay Studies academic program, some years ago. I asked the president why the Vincentian Fathers allow that program. He enthusiastically stated that they hoped to someday offer a four-year degree in Gay Studies! I said, “Well, Father– why not instead, hand out a Rosary and a Miraculous Medal– of St. Vincent’s dear “daughter,” St. Catherine Laboure (love her!) and wouldn’t that be much better?” Next, another Vincentian priest said, “well, what’s wrong with learning about gays?” HOPELESS!!
Hey, lay member: ChurchMilitant has a story about a parish in the Diocese of San Jose that publicly states one of its parish council members is in a gay marriage and has kids in the parish school. The pastor, the bishop, the school principal are all cool with it. The pastor is so bold in his effrontery that he proclaims the parish’s heresy and scandal on the parish website. No faithful Catholic should attend that parish or school. Still think there’s hope for the DSJ?
The Diocese of San Jose recently announced the closing of a Catholic elementary school due to low enrollment, and it also announced that it hired a Chief Development (fundraising) Officer.
The Diocese is struggling for money: fewer Catholics, fewer contributions, and less interest in Catholic education or attending Mass for those who are still at least nominally Catholic. Gotta pay for those fancy dinners in the bishop’s residence.
Bishop McGrath’s misguided policy is intended to keep big donations from rich techie gays coming into the church’s coffers. Gays run the Bay Area business network. No sense in offending them if you seek to tap into them as a source of contributions. If you get on the wrong side of the gays in the Bay…
The reduction in Mass attendance and active participation in the DSJ is a fact and very noticeable over the past 3 or so years.
I wish I could say I was surprised…..but i am not!!!!!!
He is also not sending his seminarians to St. Patrick’s (as there is a new and wonderful change in rectors, whom is more traditional) and sending them instead to Chicago to Cardinal Supich. Oh my goodness!!!!!!
Plus, in the past he has told the Churches NOT to ring the bells at the Consecration.
Isn’t Bishop McGrath close to retirement age, I say with GREAT HOPE!!!
And let us all pray for him.
In 2005 the Diocese of San Jose hosted the 12 Annual National Association of ‘Catholic’ Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries and allowed X-rated gay pornography to be sold at exhibits during the conferences. Patrick McGrath gave the opening speech for the conference. The first workshop was titled “Are You a Good Witch or a Bad Witch?”. In 2008 McGrath attended the installation of “bishop” Mary Gray Reeves as Episcopalian leader of San Jose. In 2004 McGrath wrote an editorial for the San Jose Mercury in which he denies the historical truth of the Gospels. McGrath wrote, “While the primary source material of the film (The Passion of the Christ) is attributed to the four Gospels, these sacred books are not historical accounts of the…
Well, Ron, the Gospels are not historical records. They are religious records. Doesn’t make them any less true, just means that they are not to be relied upon for historical facts. I’ve been to the Holy Land. I am amazed about how the Passion accounts of the Gospels accord with the physicality of the place. But you can’t deny that the 4 Gospels do not line up exactly with each other in their accounts of the Life of Christ.
“they are not to be relied upon for historical facts” is heresy!
Ron, your statement is inaccurate. No reputable Catholic scripture scholar holds such a non-nuanced view. [See, e.g., the significant differences in the Infancy Narratives of Luke vs. Matthew.]
YFC, Ron, and Roberto,
Compounding the issues with this debate is that the historians of that time period wrote histories that weren’t entirely accurate and which also did not adhere to principles of modern day scholarship.
The First Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith, the opening statement of section 11 of Dei Verbum (hereafter DV) reads: “Those things revealed by God which are contained and presented in the text of sacred scripture have been written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. For holy mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts, on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author, and have been handed on as such to the Church itself.”
You also cannot deny, YFC, that having a bishop intimate that the gospels are fantasy does not align exactly with Catholic doctrine. And increasingly Catholic layfolk are not amazed. Rather we are grown tired of leadership that leads where it wills instead of where teaching dictates.
Actually, the Catholic position is that the Gospels are historical accounts, regardless of their different perspectives. Dei Verbum, n. 19:
“Holy Mother Church has firmly and with absolute constancy held, and continues to hold, that the four Gospels just named, whose historical character the Church unhesitatingly asserts, faithfully hand on what Jesus Christ, while living among men, really did and taught for their eternal salvation until the day He was taken up into heaven (see Acts 1:1).”
The reference to Acts 1:1 accents this historical-account position: “In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy…
not historical accounts of the historical events that they narrate. They are theological reflections upon the events that form the core of Christian faith and belief”… and on… and on… and on… McGrath is still in good standing with Rome which leads me to believe the apple is rotten to the core!
This bishop is not in his right mind. He has lost the faith and is in grave spiritual danger. He is a scandal and is leading others into temptation and sin rather than toward Christ and His Church. He needs prayer. God have mercy on him.
He’s right, we shouldn’t refuse them the sacraments, we should encourage them. Let’s start with confession.
There is nothing “good” about sodomy.
Does a bishop pastor and accompany his flock if outside of Christ’s truth?
That seems to be McGrath’s misguided approach. Don’t call attention to sinful lifestyles, don’t call attention to sin, don’t challenge, don’t correct, don’t teach, don’t encourage to live in accordance with truth; just invite everyone to everything. While implying hope that sinners will somehow be catechized by teachings that aren’t ever communicated nor adhered to in diocesan policy, he is merely intending to avoid making people feel uncomfortable, to avoid a public outcry against him, and to avoid having a difficult life as he approaches retirement. He’s got an easy life. Why should he want to screw things up for himself? Beats working for a living.
How does the bishop expect people living in an objective state of grave sin, which applies to everyone in a same sex marriage or homosexual relationship or adulterous relationship or who is divorced and civilly remarried, to change their lives and correct their behavior if the church in his diocese will not shame them or rebuke them in even the slightest manner by communicating through policy that the way they are living their lives is incompatible with Catholic faith? The bishop’s idea of compassionate and pastoral practice is neither.
The Bishop shows his hand (and his formation) in his mis/use and mis/understanding of the term “good faith” (bona fide).
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
“Who is going to save our Church? Not our Bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to the people. You have the minds, the eyes, the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops like bishops and your religious act like religious” – Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
“Tolerance is the virtue of man without convictions.” – G.K. Chesterton
“Whoever does not hate error, does not love the truth”. – G.K. Chesterton
Canon lawyer Ed Peters published a response to Bishop McGrath’s letter:
Dr. Peters charitably takes the bishop to task for his obviously inadequate and problematic policy letter.
So a same -sex couple could request the sacrament of marriage “in good faith” and the bishop wouldn’t refuse them??
PARISH PUBLICIZES SAME-SEX MARRIAGE OF ITS COUNCIL MEMBER: https://angelqueen.org/2017/07/07/parish-publicizes-same-sex-marriage-of-its-council-member/
Thank you for the link to Angelqueen’s story, Ron.
I was speculating which ‘parish ‘ had the overtly in-your-face statement about its parish council member—I was expecting a certain “Fr. J—” church, actually. Or nearly any DSJ parish.
But St. Clare’s is literally 200’ feet from the Santa Clara U. campus, so it makes sense: Just like St. Ignatius in SF and nearby St. Agnes in the Haight (about 6 or so blocks away). Both campuses are aggressively Change-Church hotbeds of anti-traditional Catholic thought. Of course the Jesuit communities in each parish area wouldn’t have anything to do with that. No, no.
And news like this probably helps attendance at one of the SSPX chapels (3 in the Diocese now) also…
..which is also only about 3 blocks from St. Clare’s: just coincidence. Of course.
I don’t think it is appropriate, for “Nello Prato,” above, to call Bishop McGrath a derogatory name, and to say that he “never dated women,” nor “played sports.” That has nothing to do with the situation, and it is extremely unworthy of a Christian, to say such things! You should never call people derogatory names! And you should always stick to the point– Bishop McGrath has wrongfully and irresponsibly used his position, high in the Church, to spread errors of Catholic teaching, and has misled the faithful! A CORRUPT bishop! But name-calling is wrong! Also, interest to play sports is not necessarily “manly,” and dating women is totally WRONG, for young men entering the priesthood!